When Black Culture went mainstream


Photo Courtesy of: Nick Davis

Here pictured is a piece called “Statue In A Tired State Of Mind” by artist Nick Davis, @ndartlife on Instagram. The piece represents the burden of black women.

Mainstream culture. It’s no doubt that people will say that it’s practically anything. But where do all these key things come from? Social media? Hollywood? No, it’s the people. Specifically people of color.

When people say that Americans have this sort of culture, you cannot help but wonder where do we as Americans get this culture from? The answer is black people and other people of color.

Other races can say that they have culture all day but where do you get this big blast of mainstream from? Where do you get these cultural ideas, from twerking and long Acrylic nails to big hoops? Most importantly, where do you find these big personalities that black women have that white men in wigs profit off everyday because of what WE act like.
Let’s talk about the fact that black people in general have to work 10 times harder to get where the average white person is.

According to The Center Of American Progress, “in 2017, for example, black women earned 61 cents for every dollar earned by white men, amounting to $23,653 less in earnings over an entire year. In the span of a 40-year career, this translates into an average lifetime earnings gap of $946,120 between black women and white men”. Meanwhile, when we post a viral video, we don’t get our coin. Did you hear about that girl that made “eyebrows on fleek?” There were thousands of merchandise items being produced on that popular phrase and she didn’t even get a dime.

Even Rupi Kaur made a whole book about popular vines. The people that were in that book didn’t get any of the money or proceeds.

That’s not even the biggest thing that’s happening right now.

Let’s go into this even FURTHER. Specifically talking about the black woman and what she contributes to society. There is so much of “mainstream culture” (or black culture) that is basically being deprived from us (black people) and being spread to be somewhat popular when we (black people) used to be shamed for it.
Black Americans are walking around thinking that we, ourselves, have no culture. Our culture is basically stolen and embedded into mainstream culture.

According to South China Morning Post, “The commitment with which some people refuse to acknowledge the contributions of black women is sometimes mind-boggling”.

Some of the “mainstream” stuff that has been stolen from black culture is often seen as hairstyles, dances, and nails. Kitanya Harrison from Medium says “They post up where we produce con`tent, spy, and pay whatever second-rate team they’ve put together (who never have the range) to butcher our ideas or just copy and paste them.”

Over the course of hundreds of years, black people have used their art and have made up a new culture that was once sucked away from them. We did this by creating dances, songs and so much art that it made a lasting impact.
It’s a great deal to remember that we as African Americans do have culture. Even though it’s constantly going mainstream, it’s ours. Celebrate the fact that we dominated the 90s and still grace the boards of what is hip-hop and rap music. Without further ado let’s start a millennium of black excellence.

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